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Water main breaks cause problems for county prison

Published August 19. 2010 05:00PM

Two water main breaks in Pottsville forced the Schuylkill County Prison, located across from the courthouse building, to resort to purchasing bottled water until the lines cleared up. The water pressure was greatly reduced and the water was cloudy for days and now internal leaks have been discovered which are being attended.

The report on the physical plant was made by Warden Eugene Berdanier to the county prison board at its monthly meeting held Wednesday at the courthouse in Pottsville.

Berdanier reported the cost of operating the prison for the month of July totaled $259,415.30,. Salaries were the biggest item, $169,512.50 plus $21,134.15 in overtime as five officers were off duty on extended leave and one officer on restricted duty.

Other expenses were for materials and supplies, $8,109.76; clothing and bedding, $3,993.36; groceries, $36,860.94; cleaning supplies, $2,902.21; fuel, electric, water and sewer, $5,883.97; professional services, $7,294.845; and maintenance agreements, $2,048.72.

Currently there are 261 inmates housed, including 216 males and 45 females. The high for the month was 271 inmates.

Two cat lines are being installed from the gym area up through the ceiling to the front office area for computer access by the medical department staff while performing sick calls of inmates. Berdanier said this will enable the medical department nurses to perform multiple functions while the doctor is seeing inmates in the office.

Maternal and Family Health Services Inc., of Pottsvillle. will be referred to the female inmates for consideration upon their release and the agency has agreed to provide educational talks to the inmates quarterly. The agency is a health and social services umbrella agency in 16 counties throughout the state that provides direct and contract services for women, infants and Childlren Nutrition Project, Family Planning Partnership, Parental Services, Healthy Woman Cancer Screening Project and Nurse Family Partnership.

Fourteen inmates are participating in Ramadan which started Aug. 11 and will continue through Sept. 9.

Prime Care Medical Inc., Harrisburg, which provides health care to inmates, reported 211 inmates saw psychiatrists, 57 patients are on medical meds, 49 inmates on medical prescriptions and 19 were on suicide watch with no incidents.

Twenty-four inmates were on work release. Eleven participated in the Vocational Rehabilitation Program and the monthly revenue collected was $4,536 for room and board and $1,960 towards costs and fines.

The Vocational Rehabilitation Program completed 22 jobs with four days spent providing service to 75 senior citizens as referred by the Office of Senior Service Agency and there were 10 community service jobs and eight jobs completed for the county.

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